• Bruni

Cranberry and Almond Pound Cake


Buttery, soft, moist pound cake. Sweet and tart thanks to the addition of cranberries. Almonds are adding lovely texture to this buttery cake. We are using thin Orange-Rum glaze (cake is brushed when still hot), flaked almonds and frosted cranberries to decorate this buttery pound cake.





Thanks to the addition of beer and mascarpone the cake is soft and moist for a number of days. Store in airtight container or under the cake cover for 4 days.


Buttery, sweet, tart. A real treat!




For a good bake:


- Room temperature - use all ingredients at room temperature. There is mascarpone and beer in the recipe so plan to take those ingredients out of the fridge 1 hour before baking.


- Buttery and creamy texture - use unsalted butter at room temperature (soft but not oily). Beat butter for 1-2 minutes before starting to add sugar (to make sure it’s ready for creaming).


- Creaming - you will mix sugar with ground almonds, nutmeg and sea salt (to release more flavour during creaming). Add 1-2 Tbsp of almond sugar at a time. Don’t rush. It should take 5-6 minutes to slowly incorporate sugar. The base should be pale, fluffy and creamy.


- Sift flour twice - you are aerating the flour but also making sure soda and baking powder are evenly distributed.


- Combining - after creaming, mix ingredients only until combined (don’t over-mix).




Cranberry and Almond Pound Cake Recipe


Yield: 16 servings

Time: 30 min prep + 65-70 min baking

Tin: 10 or 12-cup bundt form


Ingredients:


- 270g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature (soft but not oily)

- 100g ground almonds

- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

- 300g caster sugar

- 1 and 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

- 5 large eggs, room temperature

- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

- 2-3 drops almond extract (optional)

- 250g Mascarpone, room temperature

- 100ml bright beer (used apple cider here, but any bright beer is ok)

- 350g all-purpose flour

- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

- 1/2 tsp baking soda

- 200g fresh cranberries (or frozen, don’t thaw)


Orange-Rum Glaze:

- 180g confectioners’ sugar

- 2-3 Tbsps clear orange juice

- 1 Tbsp rum


To decorate:

- 50g flaked almonds


Frosted/sugared cranberries:

- 100g fresh, washed and dried cranberries

- 100g + 150g caster sugar

- 150ml water


Method:


1. Prepare frosted cranberries: In a medium pot mix water with 100g sugar and cook on medium heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Stir in all cranberries and take off the heat (don’t cook - cranberries will start to crack). Make sure cranberries are fully coated in sugar syrup. Line cooling rack with parchment paper and using slotted spoon transfer cranberries and let cool for about 1 hour. When ready (cranberries should become sticky and shiny), roll cranberries in remaining sugar. Use within 2-3 days.


2. Preheat the oven to 175C (160C fan forced). Spray bundt form with non-stick baking spray or brush with thin layer of butter and dust with flour (removing excess). Mix Mascarpone with beer and set aside (use at room temperature).


3. Prepare creamy base: Place butter in your main mixing bowl. Using hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment beat butter for 1-2 minutes until soft. In a meantime, mix ground almonds with nutmeg, sugar and coarse sea salt. Start adding sugar/almond mixture to butter mixing on medium-high speed - 1-2 Tbsps at a time. It should take 5-6 minutes to incorporate all sugar. Butter should be pale and fluffy. When ready, add one egg at a time, mixing well in-between each addition. Add vanilla extract, almond extract (if using). Beat for few seconds until combined.


4. Combine: Mix flour with baking powder and baking soda and sift twice. Add 1/3rd of sifted flour to creamy base (from Step 3) and mix until combined, add 1/2 mascarpone/beer mixture, then 1/3rd of sifted flour, then remaining part of mascarpone/beer, finishing with the remaining part of flour (so - flour/mascarpone/flour/mascarpone/flour) and mix on low speed only until combined. Gently stir in cranberries and transfer cake batter to bundt form.


5. Bake at 175C (160C fan forced) for 65-70 minutes. Check with skewer if fully baked. When ready, take out from the oven and let cool in the form for 15 minutes then transfer to the cooling rack to cool completely. Brush with the glaze when the cake is still warm.


6. Prepare Orange-Rum Glaze: Mix confectioners’ sugar with orange juice and rum and mix until combined and smooth. Brush hot cake with the glaze and decorate immediately with almonds and frosted cranberries.




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